Atlanta star LaKeith Stanfield recently got candid about his struggles with alcoholism and his experience with sobriety
In an interview with GQ Hype, he said, “This is something I never really had talked about before, but I think it’s something that I need to talk about because I want people to understand that it’s something that you can get through, that it’s something that you can get past. And I want people to feel empowered by the fact that the person they’re looking at on that screen has gone through addiction and survived it.”
“I had become completely dependent upon [alcohol],” Stanfield said. “To the point where I wasn’t able to move or function a whole day without having it.”
The actor, who earned a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his portrayal of William O’ Neal in the film Judas and the Black Messiah, revealed how he used alcohol to cope with his anxiety.
“All of a sudden, I got so anxious during it that I just got up, canceled the massage, and told [the masseuse] to leave,” he said. “And she was probably like, ‘What the hell is going on?’ And I didn’t really know what was happening either. I just thought, ‘I’m anxious, let me just drink some wine. As soon as I drink the wine, the anxiety goes away.’”
Stanfield’s struggles with alcoholism resonated with his 'Knives Out' co-star Jamie Lee Curtis.
Curtis revealed to GQ she provided Stanfield with words of encouragement to overcome his alcohol addiction while on-set filming Knives Out.
“I probably said something to the effect of ‘You’re a gorgeous, talented, smart, young father with huge opportunities ahead of you: Don’t fuck it up by dying of cancer that you can prevent,’” Curtis said.
“My experience is that when you feel you are alone, that’s a very scary feeling,” she continued. “So what I was trying to say to him was, ‘You are not alone. And if I can be a source of comfort or understanding, then I hope you will allow me to do that.’” He did, with the two of them exchanging texts and calls as he continued to work. One moment sticks with him. “She asked me, ‘How old are you?’” he recalls. “I was like, ‘Uh, about to be 30.’ And she said, ‘No, how old are you from when you became sober?’” He replied: “‘Oh, I’m about seven months.’ And she goes, ‘You’re seven months old. I am 23 years old.’”
Stanfield also revealed that Paris Jackson is a peer he has received support from.
Stanfield revealed his methods of coping, one of which is sitting down on a red carpet when he gets tired.
“The couple times I’ve sat down on [a red] carpet, I was genuinely tired. To be honest, when I’m put in these situations like interviews, photoshoots, I do what makes it fun for me; otherwise, it’s banal and inane, and I don’t feel like sitting through that bulls—,” he said. “You have to do it your way, otherwise you get ran by this business and people always telling you who you need to be, pushing you in all these f—ing directions. No, I’m going to do what I want to do for me, and take it or leave it, man. I’m not going to be where you need me to be.”
Atlanta season 3 premieres next week.